The Healthy Table: It's Soup Weather (Almost)

“That bowl of soup—it was dearer than freedom, dearer than life itself, past, present, and future.” - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich.

According to an article entitled "Soups and Stews" in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, early humans used natural containers to heat water with hot rocks, but it was only around 5,000 years ago that waterproof and heatproof containers made it possible to boil liquids.

Yet, one of the first soup cookbooks, Soup and Soup Making, by Mrs. Emma P. Ewing, wasn't published until 1882. Many of the recipes it contained are still popular today, including vegetable soup and oyster stew.&

There's also a recipe for Mock Turtle Soup and ingredients include "a calf's head, one onion, one turnip, one carrot, one half stalk celery, one half bunch parsley, one bay leaf, one lemon, five cloves, ten allspice, ten pepper corns, one fourth nutmeg, two teaspoons of salt, a little cayenne pepper, two ounces butter, one ounce flour--a glass of wine to each quart of soup." Obviously, this recipe is unsuitable for today's cook since it's almost impossible to find good turnips out of season.

These days, souping is the new juicing. Detoxing with soups is more filling, hearty, and comforting in the winter, and luckily, the library has a good selection of healthy soup cookbooks, including:

Many people find an "immersion blender" very helpful for making soup when whipping, blending, or pureeing is called for. According to Consumer Reports, lower-priced models performed as well or better than the pricier ones. The Sweethome did a recent review and chose the Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick as the best budget model.

Good bread is critical to a successful soup dinner, and Jim Lahey's much- celebrated no-knead bread recipe from the New York Times is easy to make if you have a warmish place for the dough to rise. High-altitude adjustments can be found in this 2007 Denver Post article.

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Written by Lisa on November 9, 2017


FrankW on November 9, 2017


Great post with great information! It definitely feels like soup weather to me. With this long holiday weekend and our immersion blender (careful with that blade!) I might just try a new recipe! The bread recipe looks intriguing as well!

GenineP on November 15, 2017


A soup-cleanse, what a great idea and comforting for heading into flu season! Thanks for the great recipe sources.

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